Konami has reached licensing agreements for boardgames to be developed based on two of their iconic video game titles: Contra and Bomberman.

Blacklist Games and Kess Co. will publish a cooperative 1-4 player game inspired by the Contra video games in 2020. The designers at Blacklist Games are Brady and Adam Sadler. They designed Street Masters, Brook City, and Altar Quest. All three of those games feature the Sadler brothers’ signature modular deck system. Implementing that system for Contra will allow players to select a unique commando deck, stage, and enemy.

IDW Games will publish a boardgame based on the Bomberman series of games, specifically 2017’s Super Bomberman R. This will IDW Games’ second implementation of a Konami video game to a board game, as they also are publishing the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game. The Bomberman video games traditionally have both cooperative and competitive modes of play, so it will be interesting to see if the board game version follows suit.

Star Realms is arguably the golden child of the 2 player head-to-head deck-builder world. Ever since the game’s debut from White Wizard Games in 2013, people have been extolling the virtues of this classic “buy cards”, “play cards”, “damage opponent” card game. Designers Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle created an elegant, competitive deck builder which still has a solid following to this day, and has inspired numerous expansions, such as Colony Wars, Gambit and the latest, Frontiers.

The digital version of Star Realms has likewise gained traction, and this latest expansion has just been added to the popular app. Frontiers adds 45 new ships and bases to the game, as well as 2 new campaign chapters with 12 new missions. Frontiers is available now on all platforms; for more information on this popular add-on, check out the game page here.

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (2012) by designer Devin Low is one of the great granddaddies of the deck building world. In this (semi)cooperative card game, players collect recruitment power to add new superheroes to their deck, then use the fighting abilities of these well-known heroes to defeat the villains marching on the city. But beware, there is a Mastermind Villain behind all this evil, unraveling a diabolical Scheme. Players need to defeat the Mastermind before the Scheme plays out to fruition in order to win at Legendary.

Publisher Upper Deck Entertainment has supported the game well over the years, amassing almost 20 expansions with innumerable Marvel characters, and the latest (for the completionists among us) is[CT1]  Legendary: Revelations. Revelations is a “deluxe” small box expansion, containing 200 cards instead of the standard 100, and it includes the popular heroes Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, War machine, and many more. New Location Cards represent infamous places in the MCU, and every villain group will come out with a Location. New card keyword mechanics include Hyperspeed, Last Stand, and Dark Memories. Scheme cards in Revelations also reflect the changing nature of this set, and are double sided, flipping over at key points in the adventure.

Revelations includes 9 new heroes with 14 cards each, 4 new villain groups of 8 cards each, 2 new henchmen groups of 10 cards, 3 new Masterminds and 4 new Schemes (each double sided), and 3 new Bystander types. This new expansion is due to hit stores at the end of August 2019. For more information, check out the official webpage here.


 [CT1]e

The follow up to the highly touted game, Burgle Bros, from Fowers Games is now available on Kickstarter. The new game plays 1-4 players in about an hour.

In Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers the players are playing cooperatively, just as in the original game, but this time the stakes are higher – the thieves are taking on a casino during the day!

The new game features some streamlined mechanics from the original game and a ton of new stuff including new rooms, new gear, doors, perks and pitfalls. It has already funded and unlocked several stretch goals. Burgle Bros 2 has a little over 2 weeks left in the campaign.

If you are interested in seeing more on Burgle Bros 2, check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

“Struggle of Empires is set in the eighteenth century: an age of discovery and sail, a period of colonization and the beginnings of industrialization, and also a time of almost constant warfare in Europe and its far-flung colonies.”

Struggle of Empires (2004) is a highly regarded strategic wargame by master designer Martin Wallace (Brass, Railroad Tycoon, London) originally published by Warfrog/Treefrog Games. This classic game combined colonization-era war and area control with a simple ruleset, culminating in a satisfying heavy experience for the 2-7 players involved. Now, Eagle-Gryphon Games has a Kickstarter Campaign to bring their deluxe edition mastery to this masterpiece, much as they did for previous big box classics Vinhos and Empires: Age of Discovery.

Struggle of Empires contains several unique mechanisms which has kept this game consistently on people’s top lists for the past 15 years. The game takes place over 3 wars, each lasting 5-6 rounds, wherein players compete for control of Europe and the burgeoning colonies. An auction phase exists before each war which forces players into unlikely alliances, making it impossible to fight certain opponents. A large and varied tile set awards special abilities and bonuses. Additionally, the dice based battle system uses the differences in pairs of thrown dice to add power, a relatively unused but interesting mechanic.

The Deluxe Kickstarter edition of Struggle has new variations from Martin Wallace, and new art from João Tereso, the artist behind the beautiful Railways of Portugal (2019). The original rulebook, which was a bit confusing, has been completely redone including multiple game play examples. A myriad of beautiful wooden components fill the box, including over 150 units and over 200 wooden control and alliance markers. The game also contains a large and re-imagined game board, over 50 thick cardboard action tiles, cloth bags, dice, and a wooden gavel for the auction. The Kickstarter Campaign for Struggle of Empires continues through August 30, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2020.

Asmodee, the “us” to whom all your board game base belong, has announced that they will be distributing games from the Swiss company Helvetiq in the United States. There are innumerable small game companies around the globe, and Asmodee has made a significant effort in bringing these lesser known gems to the western shores.

“We are always looking for strong local partners that bring our brand to gamers and shops worldwide,” said Hadi Barkat, CEO & Founder of Helvetiq. “With Asmodee USA, we now have a U.S. distribution partner who shares our ambition and passion for the world of games. Their portfolio includes amazing titles, and we are honored to join with a line up that particularly suites casual gamers, families, and design aficionados. We are excited that, together, we will make our games accessible to an even wider audience.”

Helvetiq is the publisher of over 60 games, with their top rated games being Martin Nedergaard Andersen’s Bandido (2016) and Colorfox (2016). Visitors to GenCon earlier this month got the opportunity to try out Helvetiq’s new games  Misty and Kawaii, the latter of which caused quite a buzz with its undeniable cuteness.

Square Enix has published their second chocobo board game for all you Final Fantasy fans. Chocobo Party Up! is a game where 2-4 players try to be the first to guide six chocobo pals to the player’s nest. The game includes wooden chocobo pieces and a double-sided board.

Chocobo Party Up! is designed by Yoshihiro Oneda, who previously teamed up with Square Enix for Chocobo’s Crystal Hunt, published in 2016. You can pre-order the game through Square Enix now, in anticipation for its release later this month.

Skellig Games has announced two new titles for release at Essen Spiel this October. Skellig is a small German board game and publishing house known for family weight games. Their first game, Concerto (2018) by designer Uwe Bursik is a well-received memory game with a musical theme.

Ambrosia, also by designer Uwe Bursik is a bee themed abstract game in which 2-4 players move bee “stones” across fields to collect nectar and score points. Different types of bees, such as guardians, berserkers or drones, give special abilities along the way. Stones can both block other players and set up points in this no-luck pure strategy game. The game comes with a double sided modular board and event cards to keep replayability high.

Mice to Meet You by designer Daniel Bernsen is a family friendly roll and write game for 1-5 players, which uses a unique “roll and discard” mechanism. The active player rolls dice to discard their mouse cards, while opponents get to take advantage of the unused dice. The game lasts a short 20 minutes, and the winner is the player with the fewest points in hand.

For more information on Skellig Games’ releases at Essen, check out their website here.

Rudiger Dorn’s latest game, Rune Stones, is now available on Kickstarter. The game plays 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, in about 60-90 minutes. The game is being published by Queen Games with an anticipated delivery date of October 2019.

In Rune Stones, the players are druids trying to prove that they are the most powerful so that they can claim the throne of their land. To do this, the players will use both deck building and hand management, summoning creatures with their cards, playing cards that will give them additional resources, and forging artifacts.

There is also an expansion available, Nocturnal Creatures, that adds banshees, an additional board, wisps and light tokens to the game.

If you would like further information on Rune Stones‘ Kickstarter campaign, check out the Kickstarter page here.

Upper Deck Entertainment has announced that an expansion for Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deckbuilding Game is now available for preorder. Legendary Encounters: Alien Covenant plays 1-5 players, ages 17 and up, in 30-60 minutes. The expansion is designed by the same men that designed the base game, Ben Cichoski and Daniel Mandel.

Legendary Encounters: Alien Covenant “adds a new movies worth of material” to the base game. The new components include new characters, a new villain, and a new Hive.

If you would like further information or you would like to preorder the new expansion, check here.